Joao Eduardo Ferreira de Carvalho Wins $25,000 Bainbridge Companies Grand Prix

Joao Eduardo Ferreira de Carvalho and Volt Du Thot ©ESP.

Wellington, FL – June 13, 2021 – The June portion of the ESP Summer Series came to a close with the $25,000 Bainbridge Companies Grand Prix, which saw 26 contenders take on the course designed by Héctor Loyola (PUR) on Sunday. Riding to the top of the standings as the fastest in the jump-off, Brazil’s Joao Eduardo Ferreira de Carvalho and Volt Du Thot were the big winners of the week as they claimed the largest share of the prize money. The victory was especially rewarding for Ferreira de Carvalho considering he had topped the USHJA National Hunter Derby earlier in the week, making for a weekend of wins in the hunter and jumper rings.

Ferreira de Carvalho, who claimed a victory in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday, was elated to claim the top prize in the week’s highlight jumper class, as well. “I was really happy with the results in the hunters, and I put in my mind that it would be really nice to win in the hunters and the jumpers, so it was a great day and a great weekend.”

On Friday, Hailey Royce of Wellington, FL and her own Sonic Boom dominated in the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake to win the class as the only double-clear pair. Going eleventh in the order, Royce and Sonic Boom mastered Loyola’s first-round track, then completed their immediate jump-off in a fault-free time of 47.63 seconds to capture the early lead. Though the rest of the pack chased them down, none were able to come close.

Thursday’s Vita Flex 1.35m Stake saw Gabriel de Matos Machado of Wellington, FL top the leaderboard with RF Casablanca, owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc. Riding twelfth in the order, the pair overtook the initial frontrunners, Daniel Cyphert and Rockstar, by barely a second with a fault-free jump-off time of 41.89 seconds.

In the Junior/Amateur-Owner Medium Jumper Classic, presented by Equiline, Ansley Wright of Wellington, FL and Castlewood Farms’ Diamanto JT Z narrowly grabbed victory by fractions of a second. Competing over 1.30m fences, Wright and Diamanto JT Z were the speediest of four pairs that qualified for the jump-off thanks to their double-clear time of 49.03 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Michael Britt-Leon and Private I Win $25k USHJA International Hunter Derby Title at Upperville

Upperville, Va. – June 13, 2021 – The country’s top hunter athletes gathered at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS) on Saturday evening. Taking over the B&D Builders Grand Prix Ring, they vied for the winning honors during the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Salamander Resort & Spa. After two rounds of competition, it was Michael Britt-Leon’s top score aboard Private I that would earn the night’s winning prize.

Rodrigo Pessoa and Venice Beach Race to the Finish in $37,000 Upperville Speed Stakes CSI4*

It was all about speed Saturday afternoon at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show (UCHS) with international athletes taking aim at the $37,000 Upperville Speed Stakes CSI4*, presented by GW & Wade. Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa and Venice Beach won their second FEI class of the week, besting USA’s McLain Ward with Blossom Z and Grace Debney aboard Boheme De La Roque who finished second and third, respectively.

Learn more about the Upperville Colt & Horse Show.

Aaron Vale and Elusive Amaze Crowd with First Saturday Night Lights Win

Aaron Vale and Elusive ©Shannon Brinkman.

Mill Spring, NC – June 12, 2021 – Aaron Vale (USA) and Elusive jumped clear and raced to a blue ribbon in the $137,000 Cleghorn Golf and Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 3* with an impressive jump-off time of 37.426 seconds under the lights at Tryon International Equestrian Center’s USEF Heritage Tryon Spring 6/Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Show. Pepita Con Spita, a 2011 Westphalian mare (Con Spirit 7 x Come On) owned by Hays Investment Corp. and ridden by Hunter Holloway (USA) snagged the reserve ribbon with a time of 37.92 seconds. Third place honors were awarded to Tracy Fenney (USA) on MTM Apple, the 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm.

Elusive lived up to the definition of his name, proving he was “difficult to catch” with an astonishingly fast time and clear round. The Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) course tested 30 riders with his first round design with 11 pairs jumping clean and qualifying for the eight-fence jump-off round. Vale and his 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Rodrigoo x Capfucino) took the win. “The course was, I thought, it was plenty hard,” Vale admitted. “There were probably a couple more in the jump-off than Michel wanted, but it made for a great jump-off and great sport.”

As part of the 93rd Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TR&HC) Charity One Horse Show, Vale was presented with the Roger and Jennifer Smith Green River Farm Perpetual Trophy as the show’s grand prix champion.

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Wire-to-Wire Victory for Jordan Coyle and Ariso in $73,000 Upperville Welcome Stake CSI4*

Upperville, Va. – June 11, 2021 – International show jumping competition continued Friday at the 168th Upperville Colt & Horse Show where 42 athletes aimed for the top prize in the $73,000 Upperville Welcome Stake CSI4*, presented by Rivers Edge Farm and Bikoff Equestrian. In a wire-to-wire victory during a 13-horse jump-off, Ireland’s Jordan Coyle reigned supreme with Ariso. The luck of the Irish was in the air as fellow Irishman Nicky Galligan scored the second-place award with Javas Miss Jordan. Alex Matz (USA) and Cashew CR rounded out the top three, while Coyle also claimed the fourth-place honors with his second mount Centriko Volo.

Stephanie Danhakl Earns Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter with Bright Side

The Amateur-Owner Hunter Divisions concluded Friday in the Parker Main Hunter Ring at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, crowning division champions in each respective division. Stephanie Danhakl and her own Bright Side bested a strong field of amateur competitors to earn the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship after being named champion of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division, sponsored by Ms. Kim Stewart and Glenwillow Inc. Danhakl was also awarded the title of Leading Amateur-Owner and High Point rider.

Learn more about the Upperville Colt & Horse Show.

Swiss Are Superb Winners at Beautiful La Baule

Steve Guerdat and Albfuehrens Maddox. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

Team Jumping lived up to its reputation for edge-of-the-seat excitement when Switzerland won through in a thriller at the second leg of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2021 Division 1 series at La Baule in France.

The Swiss were returning to the scene of their triumph at the last event to be staged in the French seaside town in 2019, and it fell to Beat Mandli to clinch it for them with one final run. The double-Olympian and 2007 FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion didn’t flinch, producing a copybook tour of Frederic Cottier’s course that proved plenty challenging during a brilliant day of sport.

His side finished on a four-fault tally to pip the exciting second-placed Italian team who posted a total of seven, while Belgium lined up in third on a total of eight, just one fault ahead of Great Britain with nine.

The 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ champions from Ireland were sharing pole position with the Swiss on a zero score at the halfway stage, but had to settle for fifth place with 12 faults in the final analysis while Mexico, The Netherlands, Brazil, France, and Sweden lined up behind them.

Clean sheet

There was no let-up on Cottier’s unforgiving track, but 15 horse-and-rider partnerships managed to keep a clean sheet first time out and when the Irish and Swiss produced six of those between them, they jointly led the way into the second round.

Great Britain and Italy were stalking them closely with just single time faults on the board, but while the British lost their grip when adding eight more second time out the Italians challenged to the very end. Out of the 10 nations that competed, Italy is the only one not qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, yet they finished ahead of all but one of their rival countries, so this was an afternoon for Chef d’Equipe Duccio Bartalucci and his side to relish.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, little went right for Sweden. They produced a fabulous victory in the first leg of the new season at St Gallen, Switzerland last Sunday where the hosts finished third. But Henrik Ankarcrona fielded a different team, and when pathfinders Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli had a second-round fall, following which her horse, Kalinka van de Nachtegaele, jumped out of the arena, they ended up with a big score of 31 faults.

Raised

As the last-line riders took their turn it seemed the Belgians might finish with just four on the board to stay well in contention, until a mistake from Niels Brynseels’ Jenson van’t Meulenhof raised that to eight. Over in the Italian camp, Ricardo Pisani and Chaclot produced one of the five double-clears of the day before Fabio Brotto and Vanita delle Roane collected five faults. But Filippo Bologni and Quilazio, who left two on the floor first time out, really rose to the occasion this time out when picking up just a single time fault. So if Luca Marziani and Lightning could be fault-free again, they would be the clear winners on just two time faults because the Irish were out of it and the Swiss couldn’t do better than four in the closing stages.

But Lightning struck both the tricky white planks at fence 10 and the first element of the final double, so they would have to settle for runner-up position.

Second-last to go, Mandli had all the weight on his shoulders as he set off for Switzerland. Newcomer Eilian Baumann had followed his opening clear with Campari Z with a mistake at the dreaded final double, while Steve Guerdat’s Albfuehren’s Maddox faulted at both elements of the same fence.

Martin Fuchs and Conner 70 produced a second spectacular clear, however, so if Mandli could leave all the poles in place they would deny their Italian rivals. And he did it with such ease with his lovely 13-year-old mare.

Big day

It was a big day for Michel Sorg, because this was his first win since taking over the role of Swiss Chef d’Equipe: “I first came to La Baule as a spectator many years ago, and for me it’s a dream to come here for the first time as Chef d’Equipe and get my first win with my team!

“Beat had a lot of pressure because he had to be clear and he hadn’t jumped the first round, but he was fantastic! He was already very good in St Gallen last week where he was double-clear with Dsarie in the Grand Prix and had just a fence down in each round in the Nations Cup.

“For Martin it was the first time Conner jumped such a big course. He was double-clear with Leone last weekend so he’s in great form. Elian had never ridden in a Nations Cup 5-Star so to get a clear and four faults is amazing too, and for Steve’s Maddox, it was also a first top Nations Cup and with a clear and eight faults I’m happy, because all riders could bring something to the team today,” he said.

His decision to include the relatively unexposed Baumann was made because the 32-year-old rider “has achieved many great things in Grand Prix at national level, and last week in St Gallen he jumped double-clear in the Grand Prix and finished in sixth place. He’s a fantastic rider and partner for the other riders, and his horse is fantastic also. I was very happy he was with us today and I know this has been very special for him. I’m proud of every one of them!” Sorg concluded.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Aaron Vale Stakes Claim on Tryon Spring 6/TR&HC Charity One Horse Show Competition

Aaron Vale and Elusive ©Shannon Brinkman.

Mill Spring, NC – June 10, 2021 – Aaron Vale continued his winning ways Thursday at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), claiming the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* aboard Elusive, after stopping the jump-off timers at 34.506. The remainder of the podium belonged to Canada: Erynn Ballard tripped the timers just behind Vale in 34.553 for reserve aboard Gakhir, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Spartacus x Indorado) owned by Ilan Ferder and Esperanza Imports, and Sam Walker dashed to third after his 36.507 second, clear performance with Hermelien VD Hooghoeve, the 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (Otangelo x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve) owned by Evergate Stables LLC.

Only eight pairs returned to the jump-off course after 38 entries attempted the first-round track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). Vale was first to tour the short course, and Elusive’s trailblazing time proved to be just that as all remaining entries were unable to upset their lead. Vale also piloted Major, the 2007 Danish Warmblood (Carmargue x Pinot) owned by Don Stewart, to sixth place, dropping one rail and finishing in a time of 36.67 seconds. Aboard the Thinks Like a Horse entry and 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Rodrigoo x Capfucino), Vale navigated the course which seemed to get trickier as it went, he thought:

“Michel [Vaillancourt] is a brilliant designer. The course was tricky and seemed to get a little harder at the end as there were maybe more rails towards the end of the course from what I saw. It was just hard enough with eight clear, so if you went clear you were getting a nice check,” Vale assessed. “It was an exciting jump-off. That’d be the third or fourth class that he’s won this year going first in the jump-off! I didn’t take all the chances; I left the door open just a little, to where one or two were quicker than me, but they had one [rail] down.”

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Taking It to the Max

At the draw for the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris in 1987 (L to R): Leslie Burr-Lenehan (USA), World Cup Director Max E Ammann, and Nick Skelton (GBR). (FEI Archive)

As the FEI celebrates its centenary, one man’s name stands out when it comes to the development of equestrian sport over the last 100 Years – journalist, historian, art collector, and creator of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series, Mr. Max Ammann.

There are people who talk, and people who do, and Switzerland’s Max Ammann is very definitely one of the latter. Over a 30-year period from 1978 to 2008, he drove equestrian sport out of a culture of conservative complacency and into an era of energy and progress that has brought us to where we are today.

He didn’t do it alone. He had the support of the three FEI Presidents of his era, and in particular the late Prince Philip who championed many of his innovative ideas.

And the story began in the fishing, farming, and wine growing lakeside village of Ermatingen in Switzerland where his father kept horses on the family farm.

Two businesses

“For over 100 years our family had two businesses. One was local transport and the other was buying fruit and vegetables from farmers and delivering to big shops in Zurich and St Gallen. So we had five horses, and in 1945 my father decided to compete with them. At that time, we had Driving competitions on a local and national level, and he competed from 1946 until 1955. He was quite successful and I was his groom,” Max says.

That led to father and son travelling to many big horse shows over the following years, and when Max moved to New York in 1964 as Foreign Correspondent for Swiss, German, and Austrian newspapers he decided to drop in on the National Horse Show which, at the time, was staged in Madison Square Garden. “I met a lot of people including Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, Kathy Kusner, and Bert de Nemethy. So I started writing about horses and horse shows for (Swiss magazines) Cavallo and Reiter Revue and (American publication) Chronicle of the Horse,” he explains.

He returned to Europe for the FEI World Championships in Jumping at La Baule (FRA) in 1970 and the Olympic Games in Munich (GER) in 1972, and then in 1973 relocated to Switzerland once again when taking up the job of Chief Editor at Luzerner Tagblatt, the daily newspaper in Lucerne.

Agreement

“I had an agreement that I would go to 10 or 15 horses shows every year, so I started with the CSIOs, which were the dominant events at the time, and then began going to indoor shows which were practically unknown. I was the only foreign journalist at s’Hertogenbosch (NED), Amsterdam (NED), Berlin (GER), or Dortmund (GER), but I wrote about the competitions and I could feel that there was something happening in the sport,” Max says.

What he was feeling was the change of mood brought about by the success of those World Championships in La Baule. The 1960s had been very difficult.

“Most international events in showjumping were held outside Europe at the time. The ’64 Olympics were in Tokyo (JPN), in ’68 they were in Montreal (CAN), and in ’66 the World Championships in Jumping were in Argentina. Also that year the big Swamp Fever (Equine Infectious Anaemia) crisis happened, and as a result no continental Europeans competed at the Eventing World Championships in Burghley (GBR) and no Irish or British competed at the European Jumping Championships in Lucerne (SUI).”

Change for the better

But there was a major change for the better in the 1970s in a number of different ways. Jumping grew in popularity after the thrilling World Championships at La Baule in 1970 and the size and scale of the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, which will forever be remembered for the devastating terrorist attack, but which were also the largest yet, setting records in all categories with 195 events and 7,134 athletes from 121 National Olympic Committees.

That led to a coming together of journalists and riders alike, and during the FEI World Championships at Hickstead (GBR) in 1974 the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists was formed.

The riders then decided they wanted the same kind of representative body, and at a meeting in Geneva in 1977 they established the International Jumping Riders Club of which Max was Secretary for a few years.

With the sport clearly moving in a more positive direction, TV broadcasters became increasingly interested in it. “When we were in Aachen or Hickstead we went to dinner together each evening and of course we talked a lot. We discussed the binding together of shows to create more interest, and that’s how the World Cup idea was born,” Max says.

Indoor shows became the main focus, and originally the plan was to create a Formula 1 motor-racing-style series, “in other words one worldwide tour.” However, Bill Steinkraus felt it was too complicated, in part due to the cost and stress of transporting horses all round the world. So the League system, that still remains to this day, was considered.

Presented

In 1978 Max presented the idea to then FEI Secretary General Fritz Widmer who advised him to take it to a Jumping Committee meeting in Brussels, Belgium where the FEI had its headquarters at the time. They liked it and made a favourable report to FEI President, the late Prince Philip, who invited Max to Windsor to discuss it.

“I had already written the rules and he liked it very much and said two things – ‘First, if we do it, then you have to run it!’ and ‘Now I’m going to translate it from American English into proper English!’”

Then there was the question of who should pay for it. Max spoke with Mark McCormack, manager and founder of IMG group which managed top sports figures and celebrities, but they weren’t interested, instead offering to sign up the world’s top riders. When that didn’t materialise, Max turned to an old friend, former Olympic rider Anders Gernandt, who was now a commentator on Swedish TV. And that was the turning point in the story.

“He put me together with the President of Volvo, Pehr Gyllenhammar, who invited me to dinner with a group including his friend Ulf Bergqvist, a Director of a bank and the Director of the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg. They listened to my presentation and I said I’d need 480,000 Swiss Francs which at the time was quite some money! After dinner we sat down and had some Cognac, and Gyllenhammar put out his hand and said, ‘It’s a deal!’ So now I had the agreement of Prince Philip and the President of Volvo and that was sufficient,” Max says.

Concept

So what was it about the concept of the Jumping World Cup that they found so appealing?

“I think it just had to come. I’m not a gambler; I only take calculated risks and I was absolutely sure it would succeed because there were precedents in skiing and football and other sports. And in the meantime, I had talked to many horse shows in New York, Washington, to Gene Mische in Florida, to people in Toronto, Berlin, Dortmund, and Vienna and they were all interested.”

And where did Max get the confidence and skills to put it all together?

“I come from a little village on Lake Constance, and my father had a business so the logical thing when I left Secondary School was to make an apprenticeship in business. So I worked with an international transport company and travelled all around Europe for five years learning the job. Then I worked in shipping companies in Hamburg and Basel, so I had a business education before I switched to journalism in the early 60s. I knew how to make an offer, how to write letters, how to calculate, how to read figures in an annual report, and I spoke English, French, and German and all of that helped,” he explains.

In an obituary after the death of Prince Philip, Max wrote that when HRH was elected FEI President in 1964, words like sponsorship, communications, doping control, marketing and public relations were unknown at the FEI. “It was Prince Philip who brought the FEI forward; he was a visionary but also a very practical man,” he says.

FEI

Max left his job at Luzerner Tagblatt and, with a contract created by the Prince, worked from FEI HQ when it moved from Brussels to Berne. And as the years rolled on, he was involved in the early stages of the creation of the Dressage and Driving World Cups which were based on similar lines.

“The Dressage people became jealous of the Jumpers because they were getting a lot more media attention and there was a lot of discussion about how the Dressage World Cup should be, including some wild ideas. Prince Philip was annoyed by some of the proposals made at a Board meeting, so he told the Dressage Committee to sit with me to sort it out and I told them ‘Gentlemen, I don’t know anything about Dressage or how to develop or promote it, but I can help sell it!’ And a member of the Dressage Committee saved it when suggesting we have a Grand Prix with the best going into the Kur which is the World Cup competition. So through the Grand Prix you preserve the tradition of Dressage and with the Kur you have what people like to see!”

The next discipline that wanted a World Cup was Eventing. “At the Olympics in Seoul in ’88, the Americans wanted it and Roger Haller came to me asking for help to make it happen. Princess Anne was then President and I discussed it with her, but she rightly thought it would be too difficult because Eventing horses don’t compete every week, so nothing came of it,” Max says. However, the FEI Driving World Cup would become a reality.

Seminar

At the FEI Driving World Championships in Hungary in 1989, Max heard the Driving Committee discussing the details of a seminar the following day. “I said to them, what you are talking about is of no importance for the future of the sport; you need to discuss finance, how to create interest, and how to get journalists to cover the sport!”

The following morning, he got a call from Committee President Jack Pemberton asking him to address the seminar, and it went so well he was invited to create an ad hoc Committee of which he would be Chairman. Instead of inviting insiders, however, Max opted to bring in non-specialists including the marketing manager of the Winter Olympics and, after two meetings, they put a proposal to a seminar in Wolfsburg in 2002. Not everyone was initially impressed by the new formula, but a week later the organisers at Aachen expressed an interest and the series began in earnest a year later.

In the lead-in, however, and much to Max’s amusement, a test-run in Gothenburg didn’t meet with everyone’s approval. “I invited all the World Champions of the previous 20 years and they were allowed to train from 11pm to midnight before their event. It was their first experience at a big indoor show, so they drove like maniacs for an hour! Olaf Petersen was course building for the Jumping World Cup and he came racing into my office the following morning and shouted, ‘It looks like a battlefield out there; don’t let those mad Drivers in my arena again!'” Max relates with a laugh.

The FEI Driving World Cup™ survived, however, and went on to become another major success.

Overview

Max’s involvement in equestrianism has given him a great overview. He’s passionate about recording the history of the sport and the two books he wrote for the FEI – “Equestrian Sport in the Olympic Games” and “The History of the FEI Championships” – have become a valued resource.

Looking back on that history, he recalls that not everyone played by the rules down the years. He talks about the Nations Cups staged in Harrisburg, Washington, New York, and Toronto where they ran the classes with just three team-members instead of four, “because they felt four riders with one drop-score was too complicated.” And they broke the rules even further when permitting women onto those teams.

“In the summer of 1950 they had trials for New York and Toronto, and the three riders who qualified were Arthur McCashin, Norma Matthews, and Carol Durant, even though, officially, women were not allowed to compete in Nations Cups at the time – but I think the FEI were half-asleep in Brussels!” Max says with a chuckle.

Talking about his relationship with the three Presidents of his era, he describes Prince Philip as “the best the FEI ever had, an absolute leader and a thinker.” Max learned that HRH didn’t always mean what he said, however.

“He had his specialities when you talked with him. When he said ‘I see,’ he didn’t see at all, so you had to explain more. And when he said ‘I don’t understand,’ you knew he understood perfectly well, but didn’t like what you just said!”

Men’s Club

Max constantly describes the FEI as “a Men’s Club” during those years, and says when Prince Philip’s daughter, Princess Anne, took over the Presidential role, she did a great job but had a much tougher time than her father, simply because she was a woman.

HRH the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbon was also a good President. “She had a less competitive background than Anne, who was an Olympian and a European champion and was from a horse family. But Doña Pilar loved horses and worked very hard at the FEI,” Max says.

Back on the subject of three-rider Nations Cup Jumping teams, Max says he’s a big advocate of the formula which will be used at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. “Because we have to make our sport understood by the ordinary people, not just the specialists,” he says earnestly. “I sat for 30 years in press stands at Aachen and Rome and even there you have to watch and make calculations, and that shouldn’t be necessary.”

Reasoning

“I understand the reasoning of riders and Chefs because of course it’s nice to give young riders their first experience and share the responsibility more. But you could do that by having three riders in Superleague teams and allow the lower developing level teams to have four,” he says.

And what if the three-rider format produces strange results? “Well, that’s sport, and sport doesn’t produce justice; it produces winners!” he insists.

Max retired from the FEI in 2008 but he never sits still. As editor of L’Annee Hippique for 30 years, during which time he also produced “about 30” Media Guides and two books on the World Cup, he has continued writing and recently published an extensive history of the Swiss Equestrian Federation. As an art collector and art lover, he is involved in the work of the Foundation for Naive and Outsider Art in St Gallen, which supports lesser-known artists who are “not in the mainstream.”

Speaking about the philosophy behind his successful career, Max says it was built on engaging everyone in conversations, and on his belief that “you shouldn’t hide and you shouldn’t lie! When you make decisions, you have to stand over them and be prepared to explain why you made them.”

Max Ammann made a lot of good ones, and equestrian sport today owes him a great debt of gratitude.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Puissance and Dressage Masterclass Come to Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have announced a further release of General Entry tickets for the sold-out days of 2021 Show (taking place from 1-4 July) plus a new evening entertainment ticket offer.

The evening programme will see the return of a Puissance competition to the Show on Thursday 1 July, as well as a Dressage Masterclass, adding to the diverse array of equestrian spectacles on display over the course of the four days.

The Puissance, a traditional jumping competition whereby riders tackle an imposing red wall which gets higher in every round jumped, was last seen at Royal Windsor in 2009. On that occasion it was a 20‐year‐old William Whitaker who took the top spot, clearing 7ft aboard Cyber Space. Always a crowd pleaser, the competition will take centre stage in the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the afternoon of Thursday 1 July.

Joining the programme on Thursday will be a new Dressage Masterclass documenting the skills required for horses stepping up to Grand Prix level, the highest level in international Dressage. Presented by British Olympian Richard Davison, the masterclass will not only consider the steps required in training horses to reach this pinnacle, breaking down notoriously challenging movements such as piaffe, one-time-changes, and passage, but will also look at how a rider can maximise the points scored during the test itself.

Richard will be joined by Stephen Clarke, the FEI’s highest ranking Dressage judge and a judge at the London 2012 Olympics, to carry out an appraisal of a Grand Prix Dressage test, noting where the horse and rider score their points and tips for where they could pick up a few more marks. The horse and rider combinations performing under Stephen’s watchful eye will be up-and-coming British Grand Prix riders and future Olympic hopefuls looking to cement their status amongst the world’s best.

Whilst visitor numbers are restricted due to the ongoing pandemic, the organisers are announcing a final release of tickets for each day of the Show. This includes a new offer for 2021 – Champagne Evenings at Royal Windsor Horse Show – allowing entry from 4pm to the end of the Show. The ticket includes a drinks voucher and offers visitors the chance to enjoy a long summer evening at Royal Windsor. Tickets will be released at 10am on Thursday 10 June.

Show Director, Simon Brooks‐Ward, said, “I am hugely excited to welcome these new additions to Royal Windsor Horse Show for 2021. The Puissance is always great fun and a real crowd pleaser, and the Dressage Masterclass is certain to be extremely enlightening. We are also delighted to be able to offer a new ticket type this year for our evening entertainment – with the show moved back in the calendar, we are looking to encourage visitors to come to the Show and enjoy the long summer evenings.”

To find out more about Royal Windsor Horse Show, or to book tickets, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Ronan McGuigan and Elvis Are Kings with Win in $25,000 Ford’s Garage Grand Prix

Ronan McGuigan and Elvis. ©ESP.

Wellington, FL – June 6, 2021 – The first week of the ESP Summer Series took place June 3-6, 2021 at Equestrian Village, with the ESP Equitation Day #1 kicking the week off on June 2. In the week’s highlight event, the $25,000 Ford’s Garage Grand Prix, Ireland’s Ronan McGuigan piloted Blythe Masters’ Elvis to their second major win for the week after topping a field of talented competitors and mastering course designer Andy Christiansen’s (ECU) track.

“It feels great to cap off this week with a victory. Elvis has been super all week. We won the first day, then got second the second day, and I was very happy to win today. I didn’t even get to walk the course since I had to go to another ring, so I relied on some of the other competitors to let me know,” McGuigan admitted. “Rebecca Conway told me to take a stride out between fence one and two, so I just trusted what she told me. I guess I did what all the amateurs do and trusted someone else! I jumped in with a little pace and gave him a little kick at the beginning, so the rest of it worked out nicely.”

The Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake on Friday saw Colombia’s Juan Manuel Gallego and Adalberto Audi Scappino, owned by Eduardo Sanchez Navarro, ride to a commanding lead of the class early in the order. With a fault-free jump-off time of 39.23 seconds, the partnership ultimately won the class by more than three seconds as the swiftest of eight jump-off contenders. Second place went to McGuigan and Elvis.

On the first day of competition earlier in the week, the results of the Omega Alpha 1.35m Stake were very similar to the leaderboard in the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. McGuigan claimed top honors on the Derby Field with Elvis after overtaking the early frontrunners, Gallego and Adalberto Audi Scappino. McGuigan and Elvis finished in first with a jump-off time of 36.69 seconds, followed by Gallego and his mount in second with a double-clear time of 37.77 seconds.

Selcuk Koksalan kicked off Sunday’s competition on the Derby Field with a win in the Equiline Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Stake after clearing the jump-off in 38.28 seconds with Leyla Stables LLC’s entry, Carla.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kent Farrington and Orafina Are Two for Two at TIEC

Kent Farrington and Orafina ©Shannon Brinkman.

Mill Spring, NC – June 6, 2021 – Kent Farrington (Wellington, FL) and Orafina dominated the $25,000 Tryon Resort Sunday Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) to close out Tryon Spring 5 competition, stopping the jump-off timers in 34.862 for the win. In reserve, Aaron Vale (Williston, FL) and Major, the 2007 Danish Warmblood (Carmargue x Pinot) owned by Don Stewart, sped through the short course to claim second place after their 36.131-second jump-off performance. Conor Swail (Wellington, FL) and Koss Van Heiste earned third place after stopping the timers in 36.323 on behalf of Eadaoin Aine Ni Choileain PC with the 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Breemeersen Adorado x Hadise Van Heiste).

The Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) track saw 27 entries take on the first round of competition, with nine pairs returning for the jump-off test. Kent Farrington and the 2012 Dutch Warmblood mare (For Fashion x Corofina) also topped the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* on Thursday, making them two-for-two on the week.

“The week went pretty well,” Farrington recapped after producing a comfortably fast round to take the win and shut out any subsequent challengers. “I brought a bunch of young horses here, and this is one that’s still developing, even though she’s won some international classes already.”

Farrington chose to travel from Europe to TIEC for one week of competition with his younger mounts, and will jet back to Europe and reunite with his top mounts next week. For horses like Orafina, Farrington chose to compete at Tryon Spring 5 to continue her education at a lower level. “She’s only nine, and she wasn’t saddle broken until she was six. She’s unbelievably careful, and she just needs rounds and experiences to grow her confidence. I’m really happy with her for the week.”

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

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